I cried a lot as a kid so it’s rare that I can remember a specific cry. The one I can recall is my first cry while trying to ride a bike for the first time. I remember my dad running behind me, keeping me steady. I yelled at him to NOT let go. He did. It ended up with me crying.
I’ve read a lot of analogies and quotes about life in relation to riding a bike. There’s something universal about teaching a kid to ride a bike; it’s not just a lesson about riding a bike, it’s a life lesson.
Step one: Make sure the kid knows that he is going to fall off the bike and if the kid is anything like any other kid, will cry and be afraid to ride again. Prepare the kid for it. Tell him what will happen. Do this at first.
Step two: then switch your words of honesty with words of encouragement immediately upon the first fall. Tell the kid that he is going to ride smoothly, keep the handlebars steady, pedal slow and thoroughly and will succeed.
Step three: Pat on the back. He’s done it.
The strongest feelings in this world are the ones that surprise you. This means that they can be any type of feeling: sad, lonely, happy, guilty, scared, proud, etc,. There is less of a feeling if you expect it, or in this case, if a kid expects to fall off the bike and hurt himself it won’t hurt nearly as bad if he didn’t expect it.
As we likely know, but often forget, once we fail, we are that much closer to success. We hold this expectation of falling off the bike again and hurting ourselves. But when we don’t fall, when the kid finally rides the bike without it resulting in tears, it’s the strongest feeling in the world; much stronger than getting it right the first time.
Success doesn’t move us, the feelings of it do.
Stay Positive & Feel More
Garth E. Beyer